“For Macron, scientific knowledge is a means of communication”
Jérôme Santolini, research director of the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy CommissionECA). In 2020, he joined the call for civil disobedience by 1,000 scientists and became one of the coordinators of the Scientists in Uprising collective.
Reporter – What was your reaction when you heard the words of the “President”? Who could have predicted the climate crisis? ? ” during his swearing-in on December 31 ?
Jerome Santolini – It shows a blatant disregard for all the work thousands of scientists have done over the decades. A job that the government also requires. However, Emmanuel Macron, declaring himself a hero of climate protection, assures that he was not aware of the climate crisis. amazing ! In fact, this sentence is a good example of how little effort this government intends to put into the climate issue. He does not feel responsible, he says that he is uninformed and powerless. This is one way of justifying several of his conclusions.
I think that the executive power treats science lightly. There is a form of obscurity or skepticism about scientific information. This is not new, but it is still sad that the scientific community has so little consideration.
One thing is for sure, this is not a mistake. At this level, and especially for December 31 wishes, speeches are processed and revised. Every word is measured, calculated, and this sentence has nothing to do with improvisation. Emmanuel Macron is a master of the art of communication. Its climate policy is essentially based on announcement effects. For him, scientific knowledge is tools and means of communication. Depending on its goals, it chooses whether or not to consider certain elements. It was the same for Covid and it is the same for climate.
This autumn, members of the government conducted widely publicized scientific exercises. Have they kept nothing? ?
If the training was given in elementary school, the students would understand it. The greenhouse effect has been known for 170 years. Global warming, same. These events do not require extensive training. Everyone understands that we have entered an era of unprecedented great danger to ecosystems and the human species. The climate threats that affect us every year have finally convinced the last skeptics of this planet.
No, the approach is no longer to inform or even persuade. Now the real question is what policy the government wants to implement ? Emmanuel Macron wants to pass climate inaction on lack of knowledge. The reality is that he is clearly pursuing an anti-environmental policy.
- Rebel scientists demand action against global warming on October 15, 2022 in Montpellier.
Faced with this neglect, is it still relevant for scientists to advise the president? ?
Nope. Their role was never to advise him, but to create knowledge. They provide material, rational elements that respond to a scientific approach. And based on these elements, the government and its advisors can make decisions. They just don’t take it into account for a moment.
“ Let’s change how it works. […] This can be done through acts of civil disobedience »
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has pushed this form of commitment by scientists to the limits of knowledge production and submission to public authorities. Bottom line: they’re on console today. Some authors recognize that it is not effective in advising and influencing policy. They wonder: Faced with accelerating disaster and state neglect, is the IPCC still useful? ?
What other strategies can scientists use to influence political decisions? ?
More attack modes. This is the main reason for our group Scholars Rebellion. Thousands of studies, IPCC, twenty seven COP, the Supreme Council for the Climate… All this has had little effect on France’s economic and political trajectory. This form of neutrality has failed.
So today we have to change the way we work. Let’s stop just spreading information and limiting public decision makers. And this can happen through acts of civil disobedience. We are not the ones asking for it. we are not “ eco-terrorists ». This is Antonio Guterres, Secretary General of the United Nations.UN) who reiterates with every intervention that the real environmental terrorists are governments that are doing nothing about global warming. If he is wrong, let’s arrest him and destroy the dangerous ultra-left enzyme.UN.